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Rail News: Communication and Signal

Updates from Trainyard Tech, Alstom, Knorr-Bremse, FreightCar America and Trinity

• Trainyard Tech L.L.C. obtained a contract from Norfolk Southern Railway to provide a new process control system for Norris Yard in Birmingham, Ala. Trainyard Tech will furnish its CLASSMASTER™ Process Control System, which is the first rail yard process control system to apply standard industrial automation technology to the rail industry, the company said. System features include auto calibration, graphic playback, real-time hump list display, electronic track blocking, automatic report generation, AEI Integration, and remote diagnostics and maintenance.

• Alstom Transport and Russian firm TMH signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a partnership. The companies will share technical expertise and Alstom — subject to due diligence and a final agreement between the parties — will acquire a 25 percent share in TMH. In addition, Alstom and TMH will create TMH-Alstom DV, a joint venture involved in double-deck coaches. TMH will hold a 51 percent stake and Alstom, a 49 percent interest. The joint venture will respond to the Russian Railways' call for tenders to manufacture 1,210 double-deck passenger cars.

• Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems has developed EP1001, a production-ready wheel flat protection system for freight cars. EP1001 is designed to withstand the harsh freight-rail operating environment. The self-powered system can prevent wheel flats from developing, and help avoid damage to wheels and track, and noise caused by flats.

• FreightCar America Inc. has entered into a new senior secured revolving credit facility for $60 million through its subsidiary JAIX Leasing Co. Facility proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, including the financing of rail cars to be leased.

• Trinity Industries Inc. has repurchased nearly 2 million shares of its common stock at $21.15 per share, for a total purchase of $42.2 million, in a privately negotiated transaction. The transaction was conducted under a $200 million share repurchase program that was authorized by Trinity's board in December 2007. So far, the company has purchased a total of 2.7 million shares for $61.1 million.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/6/2008